African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187

Full Length Research Paper

A history of land measurement in Shashemene (Ethiopia), 1941 - 1974

  Temesgen Gebeyehu  
Department of History, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Amhara, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 28 September 2009
  •  Published: 31 October 2009



In history, land tenure system refers to the social and administrative concept. It does not show physical or geographical concept. Land has been one of the most highly valued possessions of human society. In Ethiopia, the rules to measure, share and use land have evolved over time. In this regard, there are ample sources at Teshafe Tezaz Wolde-Mesqel Tariku Research Center. The collection of the Center Contains many surprises. There are ample of materials on the twentieth century Ethiopian History, particularly, in relation to land tenure and measurement. For a historian working with such archival materials is entertaining and stimulating. The archives are indispensable sources for the study of the twentieth century Ethiopian land tenure. It is possible to arrive at an impressive conclusion on political economy of Ethiopia particularly on land matters, with all its implications and complexities, if one writes and researches with reference to the center. This study highlights several points of paramount importance. To begin with, this paper investigates the factors that made land measurement in Shashemene District too sensitive and challenging. Secondly, an attempt was made to bring out the historical, political, economical and social dimensions of the process. Thirdly, an attempt was made to assess the degree of originality and authenticity of the available literature in the topic under consideration. That is, all documents will be compared and contrast with the texts. Finally, this study also fills in some gaps in the study of land tenure and measurement in the district under study.


Key words: Land measurement, Ethiopia, history.